Newsdesk 2001

Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers

Last Saturday saw our men's and women's teams both complete the third out of
four races in their respective Surrey League Division One competitions.
After the Richmond Park authorities refused permission for Stragglers to
host the women's event as scheduled, the venue was switched to Lightwater on
the same courses as the previous fixture. Allison O'Neill takes up the

"With Ms Seal swallowed up by the joys of Year End (who'd be an
accountant?), I was volunteered to report back a few words on last
Saturday's 3rd Surrey Women's Cross-Country League at Lightwater. Unprepared
as I was for this privilege, I am unfortunately unable to comment on
anything other than the senior race (the one I was taking part in), so I
hope that somebody else can deal with the junior ladies (no, John Herries, I
didn't mean  that way...).

The senior team, fresh from our County Silver medals (I had to get that in
again to remind the men) finished a creditable 5th out of the ten teams
running in the first Division at Lightwater on Saturday. This keeps us
solidly mid-table and well out of the relegation or, for that matter the
glory, zone.  The team has really benefitted this season from the consistent
appearances of the same old faces - Auerback, Healey, Mallett, O'Neill,
Rowland, Seal and Piears. This is less a reference to the number of Vets in
the team, but rather testimony to Sarah's splendid captaining skills, which
have us all totally committed to showing up each week.

Individually, in 9th place I had my highest placing yet in the League, but I
am currently more shocked by the fact that I haven't had an injury since
LAST AUGUST. For anyone who knows me this is major news. And the secret? A
Putney masseur, also used by Darryl McDonald (no, it's not David Benton) -
who pummels my muscles weekly. Darryl won't let me reveal his name in case
he gets booked out and runs out of appointments, but it begins with John and
ends with Young (and his phone no. is 0973 704752).

Sarah, in 19th place, had a great run on the fast paths of Lightwater which
clearly suited her light frame, as she led home Kathy in 21st and Margaret
in 30th. Sarah's performance was all the more amazing when she revealed she
had been 'Year-Ending' all Saturday morning before the race - well, I was
impressed anyway!  In 34th, 37th and 49th respectively, Sue, Sonia and
Louise all took seconds off their 'Lightwater PBs' from the last time we ran
there in December, which is great news for the team. Maybe they'll have the
4th League race there as well in February and, for the first time in the
history of cross-country, we'll be able to monitor our progress in minutes
over the course of a season (Julian Smith - aka 'Stats' - would love it).

Thanks again to our band of supporters, spear-headed as ever by Steve
Rowland. I've got to give David Benton a mention here for again turning up
to support the women's team. This is not a case of favouritism on my part
(or lechery on his!) but rather that he got left out of Sarah's very long
list of supporters at the County Champs last week and was suitably upset.
Also, good news for the men, David started light training again this week
after a long lay-off with foot problems, so he should be back in reasonable
shape at least in time for the last race of the season.

Talking of foot problems, I have just got to say that, in spite of Sarah's
glowing recommendation in last week's E-News on the benefits of running
barefoot (following my spikeless final mile at the Surrey Champs), this is
definitely not something you should try at home. Not only could I not run
for 3 days afterwards, but I am still having nightmares about what terrible
horrors touched my bare feet at the bottom of those mud-filled puddles at
Lloyd Park....uurggh."

Amongst the juniors, the Under 15 team looks to be the success story of the
season with their third straight win. Barring catastrophes in the final
fixture they should provide Ranelagh with our first-ever Surrey Ladies
League team championship. Their strength has been being able to field four
good runners of a very similar standard, and a different girl has led the
team home in each race so far - first Jessica Harvey, then Laura Ball and
this time Eleanor Moore. Anair Beverly has been second each time!  Special
credit in this race should go to Laura, who was suffering from a bad cold
and cough but struggled round to ensure the team victory.

In the Under 17 race Louise Webster achieved her best result of the season
in 6th place, as did Sarah Harwood and Alex Hook, 14th and 15th in the Under

1	A Ridley (Woking)	23.02
9	Allison O'Neill		24.58
19	Sarah Seal		26.06
21	Kathy Mallett		26.17
30	Margaret Auerback	27.30
34	Sue Healey		27.52
37	Sonia Rowland		28.06
49	Louise Piears		29.42
1	Herne Hill	67
2	Dulwich		67
3	SLH		78
4	Woking		86
5	Ranelagh	113
6	Thames H&H	122
7	West 4		149
8	Epsom & E	189
9	Holland S	199
10	Belgrave	240
Under 17
1	G Gardner (Guildford)	16.04
6	Louise Webster		18.58
1	Guildford & G	10
3	Ranelagh	63
Under 15
1	L Marland (Herc Wimb)	12.29
5	Eleanor Moore		13.56
6	Anair Beverly		14.02
8	Jessica Harvey		14.23
23	Laura Ball		17.46
1	Ranelagh	37
2	Belgrave	54
Under 13
1	Z Shannon (Dorking)	9.33
14	Sarah Harwood		11.06
15	Alex Hook		11.07
27	Alexine Overall		12.06
36	Emily Ball		13.06
1	Dorking & MV	33
8	Ranelagh	106

The men were on Wimbledon Common. Julian Smith reports:

"Benton, Haarer and Jones are injured, Graeme MacF was away, so we were very
light (although Steve Barber was apparently doing his 16th successive Surrey
League). Course was mostly flat but varied from hard track to flooded field
to thick mud, with the compulsory sharp turn and narrow passageway after
just 50m. That was my excuse for still being 60th after 2 miles, which at
least enabled me to say hello to almost the entire Ranelagh team during the
race. Darryl spent the race way out ahead avoiding me, Marcus was quite
pleased with his run, Mick L and CO had a good battle, Andy B wants to
retire, and Mike Peace fell over face first in the mud. Team position as
expected really, and we're quite safe. Thanks to Jim F, Alan and Reg for
support. Oh, and there was a very good Jimi Hendrix tribute band in Kingston
that evening, if you're into people pouring lighter fuel on their guitars
and then igniting it that is."

Bastien Tardy and Daniel Fielder were our only representatives in the junior
race but both acquitted themselves well, especially Daniel 2nd amongst the
Under 13s.

Hounslow's 791 points in the senior race must be a record. It seems they had
just two runners - presumably they are abandoning Surrey ahead of their
planned amalgamation with Windsor, Slough and Eton.

More details of all the following from Paul Graham (0796 7788945 /
paulgraham28@hotmail.com) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 /

Saturday January 20th   South of Thames Senior Championships on Wimbledon

Saturday January 27th   Southern Counties Championships (men and women) at
Parliament Hill

Saturday February 3rd	Men's Surrey League at Coulsdon

Saturday February 10th	Mob Match v Blackheath Harriers at Hayes (Kent). The
season's last mob match, so reserve the date now.

Saturday February 17th 	v Bank of England etc in Richmond Park (Roehampton
Gate) - though I've heard a rumour that the Park authorities are trying to
ban all races until further notice, which would be a ludicrous over-reaction
to a bit of water. This is what comes of asking permission...

Speaking as we were of Jimi Hendrix, don't forget that the musical event of
the year / decade / millennium takes place this Saturday night (20th) when
Ranelagh's very own 'Zis Boom Bah' band (no, guys, that sounds much too like
a bunch of fat Austrians in leather shorts) takes to the stage of the
Canterbury Arms, Canterbury Crescent, 400 metres from Brixton tube and
railway station. 8pm to 2am. Be there or be sensible...

Steve Rowland
Tel:  01926 318734
Fax: 01926 318718
e-mail: srowland@calorgas.co.uk